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OHIO

Ohio was among the first states to authorize Governmental Electricity Aggregation (GEA) as part the Energy Choice Act of 1999 (SB3).  As of March, 2023, 632 communities have enabled CCA in Ohio and 354 have an active program for approximately 2.3 million customer accounts.
632
communities with Local CCA Authorization
354
active CCA community
278
inactive CCA communities
19,400,000
MWh of annual load (2022)
46%
statewide population participants
2,300,000
total customer
accounts
1 to 3
-year electricity
supply contracts

Use this interactive map to explore CCA communities across Ohio.

Use your mouse to zoom in and click on flags for more information.

HISTORY

Ohio is served by a patchwork of several electric distribution companies, electric co-ops and municipal electric utilities, as shown on this map.

Direct Energy has written an excellent 2-page history of energy deregulation and customer choice in Ohio.  The remainder of this history section is condensed from that source.

In July 1999, Ohio restructured its energy market to allow consumers to choose their energy provider, effective January 1, 2001. Customers could choose to buy energy from Certified Retail Electric Suppliers (CRES) instead of automatically receiving it from their local utility company. Four activities that had previously been performed by investor owned utilities (IOU) were separated.

  • Electric Utilities, also known as Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs), would control transmission and distribution (aka “poles and wires”)

  • Marketers would sell retail service to residential and commercial customers

  • Brokers or aggregators would contract with retailers on behalf of groups of buyers

  • Governmental aggregators (County, municipal, or local community governments) would contract with suppliers for service on behalf of their residents and businesses

 

The first few years of deregulation were rocky.  Customers were hesitant to switch to new suppliers or aggregators due a lack of price differences. Meanwhile, changes in the market landscape left many without choices.  The northern (primarily urban) part of the state had more energy suppliers, while the southern (rural) part had fewer. Consequently, in areas where suppliers were sparse, customer choice was often effectively limited to community aggregation or the incumbent utility. Litigation over compliance with SB3 also delayed the transition to full market pricing.

In May 2008, Governor Ted Strickland signed Senate Bill 221 into law to revise PUCO’s regulatory structure. It required incumbent utilities to offer a Standard Service Offer (SSO) for customers who did not actively choose a retail supplier. PUCO was given broad authority to make sure certain utilities’ SSO proposals were “fair and equitable” to consumers.

SB 221 also required each incumbent utility to shed its power generation operations and become an electric distribution utility (EDU).

Aggregation in Ohio must be approved through a local ballot measure and, like Illinois, local governments facilitate the aggregation contract but do not assume day-to-day administration of the program.

Average CCA rates have remained stable compared to the default utility rates in Ohio. Several communities offer various “green power” options through the purchase of unbundled renewable energy credits (“RECs”) to offset the greenhouse gasses emitted by their sources of generation. From standard energy products to 100% renewable energy offerings, most communities purchase Green-e Certified RECs from wind power resources, as it is one of the most inexpensive renewable resources in the Midwest. In 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated 19 CCA communities in Ohio as “Green Power Communities” for offering a high amount of renewable power at competitive prices (SOPEC, 2023).

Utility vs. CCA Rates-Ohio.png
FAST FACTS
  • In an unprecedented move in August 2022, NOPEC announced it was moving 550,000 (about half) of its customers back to FirstEnergy utilities. NOPEC's and other retailers' current electric rates in the state are higher than the utility's price to compare because the utility's rate was determined largely in auctions conducted before April, when energy prices were considerably lower. NOPEC’s Standard Program Price would have been almost double Ohio Edison’s price to compare. In April, 2023, NOPEC announced it is relaunching their program to its previously dropped customers, with a summer rate of half the utility's default price.

  • Clean Energy Columbus was the third-largest CCA in the nation when it launched on June 1, 2021. Clean Energy Columbus buys RECs from Illinois, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Oklahoma and spurred proposals from developers to build Ohio-based renewable energy facilities. The oil and gas industries did not want competition from renewables and used their powerful lobbying presence to spur the state legislature to take action. Most notably, Senate Bill 52, was passed in October, 2021, which set up additional hurdles in local approval that solar and wind – but not oil and gas – must obtain. Despite the hurdles, in 2023, the program's supplier is in talks with eight Ohio-based solar and wind projects in various phases of development. Most are projected to be online by mid-2025.

  • NOPEC has saved its customers more than a quarter billion dollars since 2000.

  • Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard is 3.5% in 2017 and 12.5% by 2027.  See this page for more details.

  • Ohio maintains a public Do Not Aggregate list for customers who do not want to be “opted in” to a GEA, but few people have registered themselves on it.

CCA PROGRAMS
INFORMATION RESOURCES
NOPEC: Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council
(list of participating communities)
 
SOPEC: Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council

(list of participating communities)

NOAC: Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition

(list of participating communities)

EAI: Energy Alliance Aggregation Programs

(list of participating communities)

Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC)

Individual CCA programs

(list of participating communities)

CCAOSC programs

(list of participating communities)

INVESTOR OWNED UTILITIES
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